To Chapter or Not To Chapter?

to chapter or not to chapterWhen I read Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett for my reading group a few months ago, I noticed something that none of my friends did: Pratchett doesn’t use chapters. Rather, big sections are differed between by a mark on the page, but the next section doesn’t start at the top of the next. You might have seen this in books with chapters: a little asterisk in the middle of the page, indicating moving on… Kind of like this:

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Look familiar?

When writing, you basically have the complete (well, almost, unless your agent/editor decides to change it, but it is your book…) on how to present it on the inside. So, you can have chapters, or you can choose not to. You might have loads of chapters with only a few lines in between, or choose to not have chapters but have section breakers instead. All of these have their own strengths and weaknesses and a lot of it does depend on the book you’re writing.

Most people assume: books = chapters. But that isn’t always the case. So, when writing your next book, why not think of doing something else, something different? If, for example, you’re writing a fantasy or dystopia, you might find it easier to use section headings instead. In 1984, George Orwell did something similar having a “Part I” and “Part II”, with no chapters in those parts, and used asterisks like Pratchett. Tolkien, however, has long chapters, which are clearly defined as such.

The greats broke the rules, and so can you, so, if it works for you and for your book, why not think about something different in your writing?

Top Ten Recently Acquired Books

ttt-  recently acquired booksIt’s Top Ten Tuesday! And I’m in a super good mood so look forward to a really jolly article! (And super thanks to The Broke and the Bookish.)

Anyway, this week is “Top Ten Recently Acquired Books” (and yes, it did take me two tries to spell “acquired”. That damn C!). Here’s mine…

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
    I bought this one yesterday (Monday) because I’ve heard so much about it and it sounded right up my street! I’m around quite a lot following bookish people on Instagram and this book is huge there; so, as it was on BOGOHP I thought I’d go for it. 😉
  2. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
    I don’t know if you know this about me (I highly doubt you do but w/e) but I love the Wizard of Oz. Absolutely love it. And, ‘though I have yet to read WICKED, I love spin-offs to. This isn’t zombie-ish (which I HATE HATE HATE) but it seems humorous. Also on BOGOHP, but it’s really badly bound so I’m always going to have a book on top of it to keep it flat!
  3. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
    This was another I’ve seen a lot on Instagram. I’ve never heard anything about it, I literally just picked it up and didn’t even read the blurb. I’m going on what other people think, completely, but the cover is so pretty so there’s that, even if I hate the book! (Hopefully, though, I won’t, because a lot of the people I follow have the same reading tastes as I.)
  4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
    There’ll actually be a review of this this Sunday because I read it last week, and really enjoyed it (got through it in about 2 days!).
  5. Ways To Live Forever by Sally Nicholls
    I bought this at a school fete in Andover when I went up there to see Jake. Have yet to read it, and I can’t remember why I picked it up exactly, but it must’ve sounded interesting to my past self, otherwise it’d be somewhere else by now! (Also, I’ve just looked it up and it got a 4.2 star rating on GoodReads (WHICH IS HIGH)!)
  6. The Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes (Jason and the Golden Fleece)
    I’m studying this for my EPQ, but I wanted to read it anyway. I’m becoming more and more of a fan of ancient Greek epic poetry, it’s a bit of a weird thing of mine (thanks, classics and the Odyssey!). Anyway, I’m liking it so far, even if there hasn’t been much of Jason yet.
  7. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
    I actually bought this a while ago, but I haven’t read it yet, and as I keep acquiring more books (see 1-3) it’s getting shunted down the TBR pile. I’m going to try and finish it by the end of the summer, though!
  8. The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
    Doesn’t the author of this book have the most beautiful name?! This was given to me by my friend Nicky at the weekend and is actually my current read. Only a few pages in (it’s massive and has tiny text) but I really like it so far; the scene setting is great. Hopefully a review to come!
  9. Animal Farm by George Orwell 
    I don’t actually own this, but by “acquired” I’m also using “borrowed from the library”. In my A2 year of English, we’re studying Shooting an Elephant by Orwell, and we’ve been asked to read around the subject, especially Animal Farm, so when I saw it at the library I thought I might as well pick it up.
  10. Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: Speeches of Winston Churchill
    Ah, Churchill. The one who coined the phrases “iron curtain”, “blood, toil, tears and sweat” (hence the title, but you might know it as the more commonly phrased “blood, sweat and tears”) and who notably called his depression “a black dog” (which has been a great help to me and my family in recent months, so thank you Sir Winston). This was a book I borrowed from my college library over the summer and I’m looking forward to reading it – knowing me, I’ll be reading it furiously in the last couple of days I between coming back from America and heading back to college (jet-lag’s gonna kill me, I swear!).

Anyway, there’s my Top Ten Recently Acquired Books. What are yours?